How-to Create an Emergency Kit to Help You Survive Disasters

Why should you have an emergency kit? Here are ten common reasons.
• blackout
• snow storm
• ice storm
• wind storm
• flood
• landslide
• tornado
• hurricane
• earthquake
• terrorist attack

If any of these disasters occur in your area, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, and telephones will likely be unavailable. You will have to rely on yourself for food, water, and other household items. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends you have a three day stock of food, water, and other supplies for each person.

You can create many types of Emergency Kits. Advised kits include:
• Home Kits
• Car Kits
• Pet Kits
• First Aid Kits
• Sanitary Kits

You can also purchase ready-made kits from online suppliers and some retail stores.

To create your own kit, start with a container large enough to hold all the items you will need for your particular kit. A large bucket of plastic container will work well for most items needed for a basic home kit. Store larger items, such as water jugs, near the home kit in a convenient location. Car kits, pet kits, first aid kits, and sanitary kits, can be stored in smaller containers, which can be placed inside your large home kit if desired.

Basic Home Emergency Kit
Recommended items to include in a basic home emergency kit include:

• Water. 1 gallon per person per day, with a minimum 3 day supply.
• Non-perishable food. 3 day supply per person.
• Mess kit, including can opener, all-purpose knife, aluminum foil, utensils, plates, etc.
• Small cooking stove and cooking fuel.
• Waterproof matches.
• Flashlight and extra batteries.
• Battery powered radio.
• Small fire extinguisher.
• Small, basic toolset which includes, screwdriver, wrench, and pliers.
• Household bleach. May need to treat water supply.
• Survival tools such as a mirror, compass, emergency candles, small shovel, and a space blanket.
• Dust masks.
• List of emergency numbers and contacts.
• Extra cash.

Other handy items to have in your kit include scissors, needle and thread, duct tape, rain gear, and hats and gloves.

In your basic home emergency kit, also include a separate first aid kit, sanitation kit, and pet kit if applicable.

Emergency Sanitation Kit
Be sure to place your emergency sanitation kit items in a waterproof container. Recommended items to include in an emergency sanitation kit include:

• Toothpaste and toothbrush.
• Hand sanitizer and disinfectant.
• All-purpose biodegradable soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s.
• Wash cloths. The Go! Pill Towels at Useful Things would be perfect.
• Toilet paper, sanitation wipes, and feminine products.
• Sunscreen and insect repellant.
• Nail clippers and tweezers.

Emergency Pet Kit
Don’t forget to prepare your pet for an emergency! Recommended items to include in an emergency pet kit include:

• 3 day supply of food and water.
• Medications.
• Leash, collar, and name tag.
• Name and number of veterinarian.

First Aid Kit
First aid kits are readily available pre-stocked in most pharmacies. A good first aid kit will be compact and include:

• A variety of bandages.
• Sterile gauze and tape.
• Antibacterial ointment.
• Sanitation wipes.
• Small scissors and tweezers.
• Medical grade latex gloves.
• Burn cream and sting relief ointment.
• Aspirin and other pain relievers.
• Antihistamine.
• Cold pack.
• Thermometer.
• CPR manual.

Don’t forget to include any prescription medications you or a family member need. If you or a family member wear glasses or contacts, be sure to stock the kit with extras.

Emergency Car Kits
You vehicle should be equipped with a first aid kit in addition to the following emergency items:

• Signal flares.
• Flashlight and batteries.
• Jumper cables.
• Extra fuses.
• Battery powered radio.
• Rain gear.
• Small toolkit that contains screwdriver, pliers, wrench, etc.
• Chains and a tow strap.
• Small shovel.
• Bottled water and small food items such as granola bars.
• Blanket.
• Maps.

For more information on surviving disasters and preparing for them, visit The Federal Emergency Management Agency.